Q: I need antifreeze and it looks like it's red, napa sold me green will it hurt to mix

asked by on

I was told not to mix colors due to it could cause an acid and eat at head gasket.

My car has 37000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. The only antifreeze that should be used in your car is that specified in the owner’s manual and if not specified there, consult the OEM Factory Service Manual.

The consequences of mixing "different" coolants together - and different colors do signify different coolant chemistries - range from somewhat innocuous degradation in the service life of the corrosion packages in the coolant (thus necessitating more frequent drain intervals) to the creation of "gels" which could actually block the cooling system.

The chemical reactions involved are obviously way too detailed to get into here, but suffice it to say, whatever is added to the cooling system should be identical to that which is already in the vehicle, and hopefully what is already in the vehicle is that which is OEM specified. If not, drain everything, flush and refill.

Finally, I would not go by antifreeze manufacturer recommendations. I would instead consult the OEM specifications and instructions for antifreeze and follow those instructions.

Your question is an important one and shows you are on top of things and thinking ahead. If further maintenance concerns arise, or you need professional help with repairs, please contact YourMechanic. One of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office and top your vehicle off with the correct type of anti-freeze. Best of luck.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I need antifreeze and it looks like it's red, napa sold me green will it hurt to mix

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do you know if its really a timing chain gasket? And how long does it take to repair?

It is more likely that the water pump is leaking from its front seal. The leak will show up from the center of the motor area and will drip off the bottom of the timing cover. The timing cover on...

Q: Turned off won't start now it will crank but not start.

This can be a number of different issues for your 2008 Dodge Avenger. If the vehicle will crank, that is definitely a place to start. As you may know, in order for your vehicle to start, you need to make...

Q: What does the transmission tow/haul feature indicator mean?

The transmission tow/haul feature indicator is located on your instrument panel. This light illuminates steady when the tow/haul feature is turned on. If the light is flashing, then the system is not operating properly, as your vehicle should be serviced...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...